LOS ANGELES — Actor Kevin Spacey said Sunday he is "beyond horrified" by allegations that he made sexual advances on a teen boy decades ago.
The two-time Oscar winner posted on Twitter that he doesn't remember the encounter. "But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years," he said.
In an interview with BuzzFeed , actor Anthony Rapp said Spacey befriended him while they both performed on Broadway shows. Rapp was 14 when he attended a party at Spacey's apartment in 1986, he said. At the end of the night, an inebriated Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, Rapp said.
Rapp said the 26-year-old was holding him down tightly, but he was able to get away and left the apartment.
Rapp, who is now 46 and starring in the TV show "Star Trek: Discovery", said he came forward after allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked conversations about sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry.
Rapp grew up in Joliet. He originated the role of Mark in "Rent," the '90s musical about AIDS, when Jonathan Larson's creation first opened off-Broadway in 1996. He has since starred in the 2005 movie, on Broadway and on the national tour.
Spacey, who is now 58, spoke publicly about his sexual orientation for the first time Sunday on Twitter.
"As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women," he said. "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man."
Spacey, who has fiercely protected his private life, had never disclosed his sexuality before but said Rapp's story encouraged him to speak.
"I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior," he said.
For years, the actor has danced around rumors he had relationships with other men.
His late-night statement outraged many, particularly in the LGBT community, who accused Spacey of trying to deflect from a serious accusation - making a sexual advance on a minor - by coming out and implying that it was his choice to be gay.
Even worse, they said, was the implication that the two might be related in any way.
"Kevin Spacey has set gay rights back fifty years by a) conflating homosexuality with" Rupp's allegations, one Twitter user said, "and b) Saying that being gay is a 'choice.' "
Soon, Twitter was flooded with memes from people who were equally dumbfounded and angered by Spacey's approach to the allegations.
In an essay for the Daily Beast, reporter Ira Madison III called Spacey's decision to come out of the closet "all the more cold and calculated," seeing as he must know it could change the subject in the wake of Rapp's allegations.
"There's never truly a wrong time to come out and I'd never begrudge anyone for accepting their sexuality," Madison wrote. "But the seediness of using your coming out to deflect from a sexual assault allegation is something else entirely."
In a widely shared tweet, the comedian Billy Eichner disagreed.
"Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out," Eichner tweeted.
AP writer Michelle A. Monroe in Phoenix and Amy B. Wang, Elahe Izadi of The Washington Post contributed to this report.
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